President & Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Nuclear Association
Dr. John Barrett is President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, a non-profit organization established in 1960 to represent the nuclear industry in Canada.
Dr. Barrett brings to the CNA a wide-ranging expertise in diplomatic negotiations, international security policy, strategic planning and strategic communications. His career spans the federal public service, international organizations, policy think-tanks and universities, and nuclear industry – with a focus on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
As Canada’s Ambassador in Vienna, Dr. Barrett chaired the Board of Governor of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. He also served as Canada’s Permanent Representative to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.
Dr. Barrett began his career in academia, earning a BA and MA from the University of Toronto and a doctorate from the London School of Economics. He was appointed Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of International Relations at UBC before moving to Ottawa to join the Canadian Centre for Arms Control & Disarmament.
Throughout most of the 1990s, Dr. Barrett served in the NATO International Staff as Director of Policy Planning and Chief Speechwriter for successive NATO Secretaries-General. Upon return to Canada, he continued high-level speechwriting and strategic communications for the Minister of National Defence (DND), the Governor General of Canada (Rideau Hall), and two Prime Ministers (Privy Council Office).
In 2005, Dr. Barrett re-joined Foreign Affairs from PCO, adding corporate planning and performance management to his portfolio. As Director General of Strategic Planning, he developed the department’s Integrated Corporate Business Plan and served as Chief Risk Officer. In 2006-2007, he chaired the UN Group of Government Experts on Verification, achieving a consensus report adopted by the UN General Assembly. From 2009-2013 he was Canada’s bilateral Ambassador to Austria and to the Slovak Republic (2012-2013). He was appointed President & CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association in 2013.
Dr. Barrett is a Board Director of the World Institute of Nuclear Security (WINS) and holds the Institute for Corporate Directors ICD.D designation.